In May 2007, the European Ministers responsible for urban development signed the “Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities” with the aim of improving policy-making on integrated urban development, particularly focusing on deprived neighbourhoods. In November 2008, in Marseille, the European Ministers called for the implementation of the charter for the cities and with the cities. This recognised the implications of climate and environmental change for cities and the need for adaptation measures. They agreed that a practical tool was needed to translate the common sustainability goals and the recommendations in the Leipzig Charter into practice.The RFSC was developed to meet this need. It is the result of close multilevel collaboration between EU Member States, European Institutions, and European organisations representing cities and local governments.
The ministers responsible for urban development decided in Toledo (June 2010) that the prototype of the RFSC should be intensively tested among a wide variety of test cities in Europe before it would be available for all European cities. The purpose of the testing phase was to ensure that the overall targets of the RFSC are effectively met.
In 2011, 66 cities in 23 countries tested on a voluntary basis the prototype of the RFSC. During this testing phase, 3 Czech cities level (Brno, Hradec Kralove and Litomerice) participated in the testing at European level and more than 20 Czech cities took part in the testing at nation al level. The feedback obtained from the testing phase served to finalise the Reference Framework and implement the web-based tool successfully. The feedback of the test cities made it possible to draw valuable conclusions from the testing phase and to make concrete recommendations for the improvement and further development of the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities.
The report of the testing phase was submitted to the ministers responsible for urban development in Poznań (November 2011). The ministers acknowledged the conclusions and recommendations and agreed to have the RFSC improved and completed on the basis of the test results.